Apple and Google launch a new anti-Covid function … which does not work in France

It is a kind of “rival” of the StopCovid application. Same flop as this one but for a completely different problem: it is not authorized in France!

The digital giants have just updated their mobile phone contact tracing system. But this technology cannot be used in France, due to the technological choices of the government.

IPhone and Android smartphone users who these days will be updating to iOS 13.7 (available September 1) or Android 6 (coming soon) will see a new setting called “Notifications” appear. ‘exposure”. This is a new function developed by Apple and Google, to facilitate the tracing of contacts as part of the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

In fact, it is about a better integration of the system jointly developed by the two mobile giants, last April, and which is supposed to tell you if you have been in contact with patients of Covid-19 . This new function constitutes a “turnkey” solution, which allows health authorities in countries that so wish to offer digital contact tracing, without having to develop a specific application themselves. But for this to work, each country concerned must still authorize it.

A different technological choice

This is not the case with France. The government, we remember, made a different technological choice, so as not to have to resort to the American solution. This is how the StopCovid application, based on a centralized server concept, was created.

So, to date, French users who will try to activate the new option, may be disappointed. They will see a message appear telling them that the function… is not available in their country.

Less efficiency … in the name of sovereignty

This choice, officially made for reasons of “digital sovereignty”, is now showing its limits.

On the one hand, the French application works less well than its European equivalents (on iPhone, it goes to sleep automatically and only turns on if an Android goes through it, but not another iPhone). Then, StopCovid is not compatible with the applications of other countries, which makes international tracing, between nationals of different countries, impossible.

Unless there is a change in government strategy, the new function of Apple and Google, with us, is useless.

A noter : the National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) has just lifted the reservations it had formulated last July about StopCovid. She believes the personal data issues were resolved over the summer.

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